Tags Posts tagged with "ISO 9001"

ISO 9001

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What is Quality in ISO 9001?

The Concept of Quality in ISO 9001

Quality can be defined as “fitness for use,” “customer satisfaction,” “doing things right the first time,” or “zero defects.” Webster’s dictionary defines quality as “a degree of excellence” and “superiority in kind”.

Within an organization, quality is controlled and measured using a quality system – a mechanism that coordinates and maintains the activities of the organization needed to ensure that the characteristics of products, processes or services are within certain bounds. A proper quality system considers all interested parties – everyone directly or indirectly affected by these activities and is typically documented in a quality manual. The quality manual dictates the associated processes and documents that specify procedures and standards to achieve and maintain quality of goods, services and outputs of the company.

Basic Elements in a Quality System

There are three basic elements in a quality system: Quality Management, Quality Control, and Quality Assurance.

  • Quality Management being the means of implementing and carrying out the quality policy.
  • Quality Control being all the techniques and activities of an organization that continuously monitor and improve the conformance of products, processes or services to specifications.
  • Quality Assurance being all the planned and systematic actions necessary to assure that a product or service will satisfy the specified requirements.

As stated in an ANSI/ASQ standard: “Quality control has to do with making quality what it should be, and quality assurance has to do with making sure quality is what it should be.”

Quality Audits

How can an organization determine if their Quality System is effective? This is done through a quality audit – an independent assessment comparing the various management and quality activities to a specific standard.

An independent assessment implies that the person performing the audit is not associated with the activity being audited. In the past, the specific standard to which a quality system was compared was up to the business owners themselves. Be it customer satisfaction, internal approval or whatever was deemed acceptable to leave the factory. It wasn’t until 1987 that an ISO technical committee developed and published the ISO 9000 family of standards – quality standards that set the benchmark for the minimum requirements for an adequate quality system. – Source

What are Quality Standards?

Quality Standards can be defined as “documents that provide requirements, specifications, guidelines, or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes, and services are fit for their purpose”. – Source

Using standards, an organization can effectively share their goals, processes, procedures, and vocabulary needed to meet the expectations of their stakeholders. Standards provide organizations with an effective road map for the understanding, procedures, and vocabulary needed to meet the expectations of their stakeholders. Because standards provide descriptions and terminology, they allow for ease in international communication and help increase trust between international consumers, suppliers and trade.

One specific standard that is most well known and attributed to Quality is ISO 9001.

ISO 9001 is the internationally recognized QMS standard that was designed as a business improvement tool to help organizations of any size continually improve and streamline operations, reduce operating costs, satisfy more customers and win more business. 


Read more from ISO Update:


ISO 9001 helps organizations from the ground up, working to standardize their processes effectively to work towards the end goal of providing exceptional outputs to their customers. Your whole system should work in a way that it constantly measures and checks that you are working in such a way as to produce the highest quality output. This is not simply in measuring the weight or using the right material, but this also encompasses your hiring process, your training methods, and your day to day activities. ISO 9001 sets up the framework for how you can properly measure, monitor and improve your processes in such a way that sets you up for success in the short and long term. ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized and trusted standard, often required to do business internationally.


Want to learn more about ISO 9001? Are you considering certification? Ask an expert:

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ISO 9001 as a Strategic Planning Model - ISO Update

Written by Kashif Mumtaz

Regardless of the other terms used in ISO 9001:2015, the term, Strategic Direction has not been defined in ISO 9000:2015 Quality Management Systems – Fundamentals and Vocabulary. However, ISO 9001:2015 contains the following strong linkages to the strategic direction of the organization:

  • Clause 4.1 – External and internal issues must be relevant to the Strategic Direction of the organization.
  • Clause 5.1 – The Quality Policy and Quality Objectives must be compatible with the Strategic Direction of the organization.
  • Clause 5.2 – The Quality Policy must support the Strategic Direction of the organization.
  • Clause 9.3 – Management Review Process must ensure the suitability, adequacy effectiveness and alignment of the Quality Management System with the Strategic Direction of the organization.

Strategic Direction as we believe is the organization vision of where the organization wants to be in the future and the development of an overall Strategic Plan is affected by various internal and external factors. Refer to the clause 4.0 of ISO 9001:2015 Context of the Organization which states that the organization shall determine external and internal issues relevant to its purpose and its strategic direction and those affect its ability to achieve the intended results of its Quality Management System. ISO 9001:2015 further elaborates in Notes (1 – 3) of the clause 4.1 that issues can include positive and negative factors or conditions for consideration – Understanding the external context can be facilitated by considering issues arising from legal, technological, competitive, market, cultural, social and international, national or regional economic environments. Understanding of the internal context can be facilitated by considering issues related to values, culture, knowledge and performance of the organization.

The strategic planning process is a continual process and if we look at the traditional strategic planning process, it very much resembles with the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle of which ISO 9001:2015 is a big promoter to apply this cycle to all organizational processes and the Quality Management System as a whole to implement plans to achieve objectives including strategic.  In addition, various functions within the organization having their own strategies can closely be aligned and integrated within the Context of the Organization which is basically overall strategic plan of the organization highlighting all internal and external factors with their resulting impact on the organization along with the approaches to managing risk(s) at the functional and company-wide levels for the achievement of larger mission of the organization.

Having said that, we can say that framework provided by ISO 9001:2015 can be used by the organizations for strategic planning but when the management rejects QMS as strategic planning model and make intuitive decisions then ISO 9001:2015 cannot address or contribute in the overall strategic planning process.

About the Author

Kashif Mumtaz is serving as QA Manager at Omrania in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and has more than 17 years’ experience in quality assurance & management systems. He is Chartered Quality Professional (CQP) and holds a master’s degree in Quality Management from UK

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ISO Benefits Your Business - ISOUpdate.com

Standards, certification, testing and inspection help businesses to reduce costs, increase productivity and access new markets. ISO 9001 certification aims towards continual improvement based on a system of constant feedback and action, which works with your company’s goals and missions to help you achieve company objectives and targets. But, how does ISO 9001 certification benefit your business goals?

Improve Company Performance through Improved Operational and Product Quality and Consistency

Consistency refers to decreased variation in operations and, subsequently, your product. Deviations from desired results should result in upper management not just questioning what went wrong, but how their process allowed for the mistake to be made. With a properly implemented management system, steps and controls are in place to prevent such occurrences. When implemented correctly, your management system should allow for seamless production and effective practices that reduce downtime, confusion, and non-conforming products from reaching the customer.

Consider your quality management processes the well-built foundation that your business is built on and grows upon. Controls are built upon objectives, data metrics, and procedure flexibility, the interaction of all these variables should contribute to a well-established Quality Management System, which should, in turn, improve the quality and consistency of the product.

Interested in learning about real-world applications and successes of ISO Certifications? Read these Case Studies on Improving Company Performance through ISO Standards

Expanding Market Opportunities and Customer Base through Improved Overall Quality of Products and Services

Your organization is constantly striving to improve your processes, adapting and accommodating to a forever changing global landscape and increase in international competition. Implementation of ISO 9001 provides your organization with a guideline for success, and measures to report against to prove your growth. Using a process approach to business, ISO 9001 enables your organization to focus on quality and consistency in your outputs while decreasing waste and increasing efficiency. The reduction, or elimination, of variation and improved consistency results in more efficient procedures that are less wasteful than their previous counterparts. In a case study from Shogyo International, the company leveraged the management system and ISO 9001 to qualify for projects they previously were not able to and to eliminate tedious practices like lengthy questionnaires. They also gained understanding, specifically with regards to nonconformities – when a customer requests corrective action, they now understand what process to follow. ISO 9001 also allowed Shogyo to gain better control of their vendor’s nonconformities, which in turn allowed them to track and monitor trends.

Shogyo International predicted that this increase in market potential and decrease in inefficient practices would result in over $200k in increased sales volume. “Given the reduction in their employees spending less time filling out long questionnaires during bids, they are already saving about $6,000 per year, enabling the business to recover their investment in ISO 9001 certification in less than 2 years.” Source

Interested in learning more about real-world applications and successes of ISO Certifications? Read these Case Studies on Expanding Market Opportunities through ISO Standards

Better Understand Production Procedure

ISO 9001 requires your organization to provide detailed and effective documentation of processes as well as identification of affecting external factors and appropriate courses of action or metrics. With increased attention to procedures, best practices, and improvement, organizations using ISO 9001 see dramatic increases in the understanding and effectiveness of their processes, and how to better them.

Utilizing ISO 55001, one organization improved its risk management and reliability, with work delivered more efficiently towards higher ‘risk to operations’ activities, reducing reactive work by nearly 40%. The organization saw more focus delivered to continuous improvement activities, enabling even more benefits to be realized and saw a 41% reliability improvement over 36 months with their certification. –Source

Summary

“Conformity assessment has a range of strands, all of which contribute to giving people confidence and assurance in using and buying products and services. These strands include testing, inspection, certification and accreditation. – Source

They can help to:

  • Build customer confidence that your products are safe and reliable;
  • Meet regulation requirements, at a lower cost;
  • Reduce costs across all aspects of your business; and
  • Gain market access across the world.

If you are interested in learning about how ISO 9001 can help your organization, speak to a local industry professional today:

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Simple Tips for Implementing ISO 9001:2015 - Video

Ready to implement ISO 9001 in your organization? Here are some simple ISO 9001 tips for the process to be aware of and prepare for.

 

Tip: Implement ISO 9001 for the Right Reason

When implementing a quality management system (QMS) for ISO 9001, management should be clear about the purpose of the QMS. If the only driver is to get on customers’ tender lists or because a competitor has already got one, it’s highly likely that the QMS will remain a set of documents for certification purposes only.

Management should aim for a QMS that will help the organization produce quality products or services, continuously improve its process, and provide confidence to customers that the organization is capable of meeting their requirements all the time.

Tip: Motivate your Workforce

In order for organizations to achieve a desired level of quality, people need to get involved. People are the essence of organizations and their full involvement is essential to implement and maintain ISO 9001.

Employees can be motivated by:

  • Ensuring that everyone knows and understands the organization’s quality policy;
  • Defining and communicating responsibilities and authorities within the organization;
  • Building the competence of employees;
  • Providing adequate infrastructure and work environment;
  • Initiating improvements, e.g. by implementing employees’ suggestions.

Tip: Take the Necessary Time

All too often organizations are in a hurry to obtain certification and do not spend the time needed to implement the system effectively. Before applying for certification, your QMS needs to be in place and its effectiveness checked through an internal audit, followed by corrective actions on audit findings.

Tip: Go Easy with the Paperwork

Many believe that everything in the system needs to be elaborately documented. Often, organizations are better off sticking to what is required and keeping those documents simple; additional procedures and records should be considered only if they add value to the system.

Tip: Set the Example

Some employees may find it difficult to change their ways of doing and may have a tendency to deviate from defined procedures. To change this, top management should ‘walk the talk’, i.e., should not allow deviations from set procedures or permit the release of materials with deviations.

Under such an approach, employees will start respecting system requirements and everyone will take account of their responsibilities for the success of the QMS.


Learn more about ISO 9001 and how to engage top-level management to ensure the success of your QMS.

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Risk Management in ISO 9001 - ISOUpdate.com

Organizations today work in highly volatile market conditions and deal with a number of risks. Changing trends, new technologies, a surge of social media, concerns over the environment, globalization and many other such factors have changed the way markets operate and move today. Apart from these external factors, internal team structures and dynamics, our own competencies and capabilities play an important role in determining the ability of a company to deal with the changing conditions. Understanding of all these factors, external or internal; referred to as “Context” in ISO 9001; and strategically planning measures to handle these situations are critical to the success of any company today.

The Context of a company may lead to many risks that companies face today. Consider how a complaint on social media regarding your company can go a long way to disrupt a potential client’s impression and may ruin prospects.

Your competition offering higher salaries may lead to high attrition in your own company.

Government plans to change regulations may impact the way you operate and escalate your cost.

Are you ready to deal with these situations?

Companies need to plan effective responses to these risks because if these responses are weak, unplanned or ill-timed, it may have a very dramatic effect on the future of any business.

Efficient Risk Management is important to ensure companies are ready for adverse situations and can deal with them. ISO 9001 requires that a company shall create a sound approach for handling risks and be ready for any unforeseen situations.

What is Risk as Defined in ISO 9001?

ISO defines risk as ‘effect of uncertainty on the expected result’. ISO also defines opportunities which are “Positive Side of Risk”. The context of an organization may also present a number of opportunities and should also be addressed adequately. For example, advancement in technology may make your current methods of operation obsolete and you run the risk of going out of business but it also presents an opportunity for you to venture into newer areas of business. ISO 9001 not only focuses on risks but also emphasizes on capturing opportunities and enlarging them.

How to Identify Risks and Opportunities?

Based on the context and the requirements of interested parties, a company shall determine the risks in its company. This can be done by a simple SWOT Analysis.

As per Wikipedia, SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix) is a strategic planning technique used to help a person or organization identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning.

The Strengths and Weaknesses are internal (Internal Factors) to the organization.

Opportunities and Threats are external (External Factors) to the organization.

Here’s a sample SWOT analysis done by a new food joint:

The SWOT matrix points to a number of risks and opportunities. The opportunity of business growth in the age group less than 25 can be easily enhanced with the introduction of food items that this age group likes. This will also handle the risk of lower sales which the business may face of their weakness: “Lack of variety in food items”. ISO 9001 requires that you identify these risks and opportunities and address them appropriately in a timely manner.

How to Address Risks?

Once risks are identified, it is very important for an organization to address it to reduce either the probability of its occurrence and/or reduce the impact of the risk. This could be as simple as identifying actions to mitigate the risks and ensuring timely closure of the actions. However, based on the complexity and size of an organization, a detailed risk evaluation may be carried out. An organization may define a detailed risk methodology to handle risks. This methodology may involve evaluating the risk, giving it a rating to compare it against an acceptance limit and then deciding adequate response to the risk.

Risk Evaluation Methodology

There can be several risk matrixes that can be used to derive risk levels. A simple method is to evaluate risk to give a rating to risk. Below are some of the factors that could be rated:

  • Risk Impact/ Severity: Typical severity level of an outcome of risk may be rated based on the impact of risk. The impact may be high, medium, low or rated in terms of numbers on a scale (Say 1 to 10).
  • Risk Probability / Likelihood: This involves rating the probability of occurrence of the risk. These may be rated as high, medium, low or rated in terms of % of likelihood of occurrence or simply in numbers.
  • Risk Rating may be calculated by simply multiplying Probability and Impact.

Risk Rating= Probability x Impact

  • Risk Acceptance Level: Organization may establish a Risk Acceptance level. This means coming up with an acceptable limit of risk.

This risk rating may be used to establish priority in addressing identified risks and deciding on an adequate level of response to the risk.

How to control risk?

Once the risk rating and acceptance level are decided, the next step is to understand if the risks that are identified falls within the acceptable limit or not. If risk rating lies below the acceptable limit, this would mean already in place and applied controls over the risk are working well and organizations may not need any additional controls on the risk. If the risk is not adequately controlled (i.e. Risk Rating is beyond the acceptable limit), new control procedures or actions may need to be defined. Actions need to be taken on risk to:

  1. Reduce the probability of the risk occurrence (called Mitigation) and /or
  2. Reduce the impact of the risk (called Contingency)

Wherever possible, both the above actions should be taken to control risk.

Review and Monitor Risks

The risks need to be monitored and tracked on a regular basis. Monitoring risks help in understanding the effectiveness of actions planned. Once the control measures are implemented, you may need to check whether the risk is within the acceptable levels or not.

This will require revisiting the risk rating to find out if the controls applied were able to reduce the risk probability or impact. This should be done on a fixed frequency or on events like changes in process, staff, or equipment.

Conclusion

Each business operation of an organization involves risks and opportunities. The key to the success of any organization is to handle these risks and opportunities well in advance. This ensures that there are lesser surprises, better planning and quick decision making.

This, in turn, leads to higher performance and improved customer satisfaction.

Effective Risk Management is vital for the success of any organization and should be done by all levels of management and for all operations.

– Avital Koren is the Director of ISO Global

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What are NADCAP Special Processes for Aerospace? - ISOUpdate.com

The term ‘special processes’ was first mentioned by ISO (International Organization for Standardization), which publishes a series of international quality assurance and management standards that help organisations document, monitor and improve their quality systems. Standardized quality assurance aims to improve customer satisfaction and overall organisational performance. One of the requirements to meet these standards is a series of special processes that need validation for service and product provision. But, what are NADCAP special processes for Aerospace?

Special Processes & Aerospace

The aerospace industry has implemented its own quality standards based on ISO 9001 which contain additional requirements specific to the industry. AS9100, AS9110 and AS9120 are the International Standards for Aerospace Quality Management Systems.

In the AS9100 series of standards, special processes refer to a set of linked procedures that lead to the creation of products and services whose end results would not otherwise be measured, monitored or verified before being released to the customer. Hence, these products and services require special attention during production to ensure that they are free of defects.

NADCAP

In the aerospace industry, the National Aerospace and Defence Contractors Accreditation Programme (NADCAP) plays a major, and mandatory, role acting as an approval body of the process used and ensuring the product is correct.

The accreditation process involves specific audits based on NADCAP requirements. For a NADCAP audit to take place, a company must first be AS9100 certified.

NADCAP Special Processes & Aerospace

Since special processes include procedures that alter or change the mechanical, chemical or physical parts of products within the operation or process, they require rigorous, standard-specific practices as well as qualified personnel or employees.

Organisations must have a well-defined procedure for review and approval for both equipment and qualifications of its employees.

Aerospace companies must provide evidence that proves their ability to achieve planned or expected results. This can be done by showing and keeping records of the processes involved in creating the product. This will allow the auditor to compare the processes to the existing standard requirements or procedures.

Examples

For instance, if a certain product was produced at a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, then the same temperature should be used in observation during the audit and still produce the same product. This serves to improve and display trust in the validity of the product and the set of processes the industry follows.

Revalidation is an important aspect of special processes, especially when changes are made to a product.

Using the previous example, when a product that was initially manufactured at a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit is now being manufactured at 98 degrees Fahrenheit, the company must ensure the product’s validity and functionality remains the same.

Documenting Change

A key aspect to process change is documenting the change.

When changes are made to the process of making a product, the company, with the help of an auditor must ensure the process is revalidated to ensure that the product still meets the same specifications as it did before the changes were made.

The process of revalidation also emphasises the importance of industry standards such as ISO 9001 and AS9100 especially in a highly engineered industry such as aerospace.

In conclusion, special audited processes are very important in the aerospace industry because they determine the validity of a product by ensuring companies adhere to international standards, improving and increasing the production of quality products, and customer satisfaction.

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Tips and Tricks for ISO 9001 - ISOUpdate.com

Ready to implement ISO 9001 in your organization? Here are some ISO 9001 tips that will help make the process easier, and tricks to the process to be aware of and prepare for.

Tip: Implement ISO 9001 for the Right Reason

When implementing a quality management system (QMS) for ISO 9001, management should be clear about the purpose of the QMS. If the only driver is to get on customers’ tender lists or because a competitor has already got one, it’s highly likely that the QMS will remain a set of documents for certification purposes only.

Management should aim for a QMS that will help the organization produce quality products or services, continuously improve its process, and provide confidence to customers that the organization is capable of meeting their requirements all the time.

Tip: Motivate your Workforce

In order for organizations to achieve a desired level of quality, people need to get involved. People are the essence of organizations and their full involvement is essential to implement and maintain ISO 9001.

Employees can be motivated by:

  • Ensuring that everyone knows and understands the organization’s quality policy;
  • Defining and communicating responsibilities and authorities within the organization;
  • Building the competence of employees;
  • Providing adequate infrastructure and work environment;
  • Initiating improvements, e.g. by implementing employees’ suggestions.

Trick: Only Hire a Consultant if…

If an organization’s staff does not have the time or skills to develop the QMS by themselves, a good consultant will make possible a speedy transfer of knowledge and skills. If the staff does have the time, there are enough published materials available from the web that will help staff obtain the necessary skills to develop the QMS.

Tip: Take the Necessary Time

All too often organizations are in a hurry to obtain certification and do not spend the time needed to implement the system effectively. Before applying for certification, your QMS needs to be in place and its effectiveness checked through an internal audit, followed by corrective actions on audit findings.

Trick: Define SMART Objectives

Many organizations set quality objectives that are impossible to meet. Objectives need to be specific and relevant to the process or task to which they are being applied. They also need to be measurable and achievable within the resources that can be made available in a realistic and timely manner. It’s helpful to have a start and completion date.


Tip: Go Easy with the Paperwork

Many believe that everything in the system needs to be elaborately documented. ISO 9001 only requires one quality manual, six procedures, and approximately 20 records.

Often, organizations are better off sticking to what is required and keeping those documents simple; additional procedures and records should be considered only if they add value to the system.

Tip: Set the Example

Some employees may find it difficult to change their ways of doing and may have a tendency to deviate from defined procedures. To change this, top management should ‘walk the talk’, i.e., should not allow deviations from set procedures or permit the release of materials with deviations.

Under such an approach, employees will start respecting system requirements and everyone will take account of their responsibilities for the success of the QMS.


Learn more about ISO 9001 and how to engage top-level management to ensure the success of your QMS.


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Quality

Have you ever stood staring at a range of products in a supermarket trying to make up your mind which one to buy?  They all look quite similar, but one stands out and you buy it.  Why?  It’s got a sign on the shelf and a logo on the product to tell you that it’s won an award for quality.

So you’ve just based your purchase on Quality – Your customers are making the same decision every day!

Quality is more than just finished product, it’s the processes, systems and people that are behind the product.   Quality is everybody’s responsibility.



Quality is the pursuit of excellence, striving to be the best we can and getting ahead of our competitors.  It is meeting the needs and expectations of all stakeholders – our customers, our suppliers, our staff and the community at large.

How can we ensure that we are exploiting all avenues to be the very best?  A recognized standard such as ISO 9001 certification promotes the use of quality tools in business.   The ASQ (American society for quality) estimates that for every €1 spent on a quality management system, such as ISO 9001, returns €6 in revenue, €16 in cost reduction and €3 in profit – that’s €25 for every €1 spent!

93% of organisations agree that the implementation of a quality management system such as ISO9001 was a significant driver of success and most would agree that without it they could not justify their pricing to customers.

If you are looking at ways to improve your ROI by improving your quality then consider ISO certification.   Using an expert to help you implement a quality management system will ensure ISO 9001:2015 accreditation which will in turn help you make significant improvements and lead to significant growth.

 

This post has been a guest posting from Joann O’Brian over at our friends at CG Business Consulting Ireland .



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ISO Implementation Process

Preparing for an ISO implementation process of any ISO standard can be overwhelming and stressful for organizations of any size. How an organization prepares for an ISO implementation process will depend on factors such as size and complexity of its processes, the current knowledge and culture related to the standard; i.e., quality, environmental, safety, etc; the maturity of any other existing systems related to the standard wishing to implement, and many others.

6 Tips to Facilitate the ISO Implementation Process

Despite the differences there may be between organizations, there are a few tips that will facilitate the ISO implementation process of any management system.

Know the Standard

It is essential that some personnel knows the management system’s requirements. Everyone does not need to be an expert on the requirements of the specific standard that will be implemented, but key workers need to fully know and understand all of the requirements of the standard.

Keep Everyone Informed

The implementation process is not a task of just a few chosen ones. Everyone needs to be involved in this process. Every worker needs to know what is being implemented, why is it being implemented, which are the benefits for the organization and for themselves, and how they will be involved in the process. When people are informed, they will be more open and willing to collaborate in the implementation.

Analyze the Organization’s Current Situation

Before starting to implement any ISO management system, an organization needs to know its level of compliance with the standard. This will allow the organization to understand beforehand its strengths and weaknesses regarding the ISO management system wishing to implement and estimate the time needed for implementation.

Map Your Processes

Establish and record current processes in order to know the relationships between departments and how the processes flow within the organization. This will allow organizations to plan their implementation by processes and not just by areas and departments.

Review Existing Procedures and Work Instructions

Many processes need written and documented information that will guarantee that activities are carried out in the correct manner. Organizations need to review which processes are documented and how many work instructions there are. It is not the same to develop a few documents and just review work instructions than to develop them from scratch. Organizations need to have an idea of how much time they will have to invest in developing and reviewing documents.

Review Current Training Programs

Evaluate existing training and awareness programs. Training and awareness are an important part in the implementation process and if an organization has not considered training its workers, it would be best to redefine these programs to make sure that a large percentage of workers are trained and informed about policies, procedures, regulations, etc that will be a part of their daily activities.

These are some recommendations that will help your organization prepare for the ISO implementation process of any ISO management system.

Note: Make sure that the whole organization is working for the same objectives and pulling in the same direction.

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Improving your Quality Management System is simpler than you think. By learning about ways to improve, you are already well on your way to achieving success with your organization or auditor training. Follow these 10 simple suggestions and you will see changes.

10 Simple Ways to Improve your Quality Management System

1. Commit to improvement

For any QMS to improve, it is essential that everyone is committed to seeking problems, evaluating efficiency and effectiveness of processes and implementing better and improved ideas. Management should be the first to make this commitment and if management “walks the talk” then everyone will follow.

2. Analyse and assess current QMS

Organizations need to take a closer look at their current practices in order to identify any gaps between what is being done and what should be done. This can be achieved by interviewing workers in critical control points, reviewing procedures and records and observing how processes are occurring. Any steps that are not adding value to the process, the system or the organization must be identified, removed or improved.

3. Include everyone in training programs

A QMS is not the responsibility of one person or one department. Everyone must be involved in improving the quality of products, services and processes.

Organizations should establish a training program for new employees and existing ones.  These programs should promote knowledge, produce skills and capacities and reduce resistance when implementing new ideas for improvement.

4. Define clear goals and objectives

QMS should aim at achieving specific goals. If a clear path is not drawn, there’s a risk that people will be working real hard but in different directions. Time should be spent in assuring everyone knows these goals, how they’ll be achieved, how they’re measured and periodically they should be informed of where the organization is standing in relation to these goals.

5. Use the correct key performance indicators

Organizations need to carefully select and review their KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). KPI’s let an organization know how efficient and effective processes are, and indicate where possible problems could be. If they are not giving a real overall picture of where the organization is at regarding quality, then another look should be taken to change or improve what and how performance is being measured.

6. Listen to the suggestion

Create a system that will promote workers and customers to share improvement ideas. Many great improvement ideas come directly from the people processing a product or the people that actually use it.

7. Give credit

Giving credit to those who deserve it encourage participation throughout the organization and motivates workers by recognizing their work and their ideas. Compensation or recognition should not necessarily be monetary, a simple public recognition in working meetings to can have great effects in lifting workers morale.

8. Make the system simple

A QMS that is extremely complex and overloaded with documents is not necessarily the best one. If documents and procedures are long and complicated, it is very likely that people will never use them.

Evaluate the system and make sure that it makes sense and that it’s as simple as possible.

9. Create quality groups

Some organizations face difficulty with workers from different departments or areas that are reluctant with sharing information. By bringing together people from different areas to evaluate processes and recommend improvements, an open and more effective communication can be achieved between areas that operationally seem to be apart.

10. Have a quality attitude

In order to reach the goals that have been set, organizations need to identify and detect problems and weaknesses but they must focus on improvements. If managers are constantly focusing on failures and defects and not on how to remove or improve them, the right attitude and mindset for quality will never be achieved.

Learn how to prepare your company for the ISO Implementation Process.